Environmental Orientation of Exporting SMEs from an Emerging Economy: Its Antecedents and Consequences

Yee Kwong Chan, Katherine H.Y. Ma

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This study proposes and empirically tests a model delineating the major antecedents and consequences of environmental orientation for exporting SMEs from China. Based on a survey on 414 exporting SMEs, it has derived empirical support for most of the hypothesized relationships of the proposed model. To summarize, the findings show that, among the surveyed firms, their CEOs’ environmental beliefs and SMEs’ efforts in scanning developed markets contribute significantly to the development of their internal and external environmental orientations, respectively. The two orientations, in turn, serve as significant drivers of the practice of proactive environmental strategies. This strategic practice is also found to contribute directly to corporate export performance. CEOs’ environmental beliefs are further found to exert a direct and positive impact on such practice. Moreover, exporting SMEs operating in areas with strong (vs. weak) ecological infrastructure are found to be more effective in translating their external environmental orientation into the practice of proactive environmental strategies, and finally into higher corporate performance. This study provides academic and practical insights into the complex and contingent processes underlying the development of environmental orientation and its impacts on various organizational outcomes of exporting SMEs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-632
Number of pages36
JournalManagement International Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Capabilities
  • Emerging economy
  • Environmental orientation
  • Environmental strategies
  • Export SMEs
  • International performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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